December 7, 2010 - 1:00am

Visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the Palestinians did not consider dissolving the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) an option as no demands for such an act had been voiced.

Abbas told a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul that he would press for other states to recognize an independent Palestinian state if peace talks with Israel collapse, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

However, the dissolution of the PNA was not among the various options of the Palestinians in case talks fail, he was quoted of saying.

There were no indicators showing a halt of settlement construction by Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the Palestinians could not carry on with the peace talks unless the construction is stopped, he said.

The direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which were launched in Washington on Sept. 2 and suspended on Oct. 2, are still stalled despite the United States, which is the main sponsor for the peace process, attempts to convince Israel to halt the settlement construction.

The Palestinians decided to halt the talks with Israel, after the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month moratorium over freezing settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

At the press conference, Gul reiterated Turkey's call for Israel to give up building new settlements and start displaying a positive stance for the continuation of the peace talks.

Turkey would maintain its close cooperation and solidarity with the Palestinians and continue to extend social and economic support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, said Gul.

Abbas arrived in Turkey on Sunday for an official visit and met Turkish President Abdullah Gul earlier on Monday.


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